Business coaching is one of the most lucrative coaching niches. With big names like Tony Robbins, Grant Cardone, and Amy Porterfield leading the industry, business coaching has become increasingly widespread and respected. But what is a business coach, and how can a coach looking to specialize break into this niche

If you have a quick mind for business strategy and the ability to motivate entrepreneurs, business coaching may be right for you. Use this post to decide and get your start with the top certification programs. 

What Is a Business Coach?

A business coach is a coach who specializes in helping businesses and entrepreneurs achieve their professional goals such as

  • Improving leadership.
  • Streamlining business operations.
  • Boosting profitability. 

Their main objective is to implement lasting change that increases the longevity of the coachee’s enterprise, corporation, or establishment. 

You often see guys will get the business out the ground quite quickly to a point of sustainability, but then cannot grow it further because it’s too difficult.

Brent Spilkin, on the Coach Factory podcast

At the heart of their role, business coaches bring an external perspective free from company politics and biases. With this viewpoint, they can identify challenges, offer solutions, and clarify a business’s strengths and weaknesses. 

a smiling coach beams at her client

Do You Need a Certification or Degree to Become a Business Coach?

When it comes to formal qualifications, you don’t need a college degree, and there isn’t a strict mandate to possess a certification or degree to become or practice as a business coach

However, most successful business coaches have substantial and credible real-world experience. Their understanding of business dynamics, leadership, and industry-specific challenges make them valuable assets to clients, with or without formal coaching credentials. This hands-on experience can often be more instructive than theoretical knowledge.

But, as the demand for coaching services rises, so does the need for standardization and quality assurance. Certification is now becoming more critical in distinguishing good business coaches from subpar ones. Obtaining a recognized certification provides several advantages:

  1. It assures potential clients of your dedication and skill.
  2. Certification programs offer extensive training programs that equip you with proven coaching methodologies, tools, and techniques.
  3. Being part of a certified community can open doors to valuable networking opportunities and client referrals.

As for degrees, while there are higher education programs in coaching, they are not prerequisites. However, having a degree in business, psychology, or a related field can provide foundational knowledge that’s beneficial to the coaching process.

While you don’t need a certification or degree to become a business coach, these endorsements can certainly enhance your standing in the industry. 

When considering formal credentials, aspiring coaches should weigh their experience, market demands, and personal goals. Remember, the most impactful coaches combine their knowledge, whether acquired through experience, certification, or education, with genuine empathy and a commitment to their client’s success.

Top Certifications, Training, and Courses for Becoming a Business Coach

Becoming a competent and effective business coach requires innate people skills, experience in business strategy, and comprehensive training and education. For coaches looking to specialize in business coaching, there are a few established institutions that offer top-tier certification programs, courses, and training.

1. NYU School of Professional Studies

Situated in the heart of one of the world’s major business hubs, the NYU School of Professional Studies offers a comprehensive certification in coaching that marries academics with real-world business knowledge. The school offers two separate coaching certification programs — Executive Coaching and Professional Coaching. Both programs have a level 2 accreditation through the International Coaching Federation. 

The Executive Coaching certificate is specific to business coaching, covering leadership, organizational effectiveness, and the practical application of business coaching techniques. There are a total of four required courses. 

NYU ensures that students engage in real-time coaching sessions, enhancing their practical exposure and understanding. Given NYU’s location and prestige, coaches who complete the program also benefit from extensive networking opportunities with industry leaders and fellow professionals.

2. Center for Executive Coaching

The Center for Executive Coaching is a training entity endorsed by the International Coach Federation (ICF). This organization specializes in preparing executive and leadership coaches who serve top-tier organizations globally. Coaches who enter the program collaborate with a diverse clientele ranging from rising talents and transitioning professionals to entrepreneurs in various industries.

What differentiates this program from other coaching programs is its emphasis on substantial outcomes for leadership roles. The Center for Executive Coaching certification helps coaches express confidence in their coaching abilities while highlighting their readiness to support leaders in enhancing their performance. 

3. ACT Leadership at Brown University

Brown University’s School of Professional Studies has a collaborative program with ACT Leadership to present the ACT’s Leadership and Performance Coaching Certification, which the International Coach Federation recognizes. The coaching methodology combines developmental psychology, neuroscience, and leadership effectiveness research. 

ACT’s Certification is eight months and includes three hands-on sessions with online group and individual learning options. Spring and fall sessions combine in-person and virtual classes, while summer and winter are exclusively online. Physical meet-ups occur at Brown University’s Providence, Rhode Island campus.

4. Worldwide Association of Business Coaches

The WABC Certified Master Business Coach (CMBC) is a globally recognized credential representing top-tier expertise and training in business coaching. Beyond resolving challenges, CMBC empowers coaches to contribute to the business coaching discipline and solidify their reputation as community leaders.

WABC Accredited is a hallmark of excellence in business coaching. Their programs, subjected to stringent independent evaluations, consistently maintain the highest global standards, ensuring their relevance and caliber in the ever-evolving business coaching landscape.

Is Business Coaching the Right Niche for You?

Are you considering niching down to business coaching?

If you are passionate about empowering businesses, leaders, and professionals to achieve their peak potential, this could be your calling. Find out if business coaching is the right niche for you by using our free coaching niche worksheet. 

As a VIP member, you’ll also get access to a robust resource library with exclusive interviews from expert business coaches.

Business Coaching Is the Key for Thriving Businesses and Entrepreneurs

Business coaching is essential to the success of major organizations and entrepreneurs behind the smaller ones. Standing tall as one of the most esteemed, professional, and rewarding niches in the coaching industry, it offers a path for those passionate about elevating businesses to their peak. 

Acquiring a certification presents unparalleled credibility and paves the way for a flourishing career. If you’ve ever had aspirations of making an impactful difference in the corporate landscape, business coaches hold the key to unlocking the full potential of businesses and their leaders. 

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Written by The Coach Factory Team

We're a team of coaching enthusiasts who hire and work with coaches. Members of our team run businesses in the coaching industry or provide services that support coaches, and several of us are coaches ourselves.

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